Our First Week In Mexico
A Mexico Adventure Begins
Our first week in Mexico was quite the adventure. We met friends on our first day, fell in love with the city, fell in love with an unfurnished home, signed a year lease, and contracted the nastiest illness ever! But you know what? When I fell sick, the single moms here took over. They shopped for our groceries, took care of us, and just made sure we were okay. That is something I haven’t really experienced anywhere else. I found my tribe in Guanajuato, Mexico. It’s funny because this was so unplanned. But when is life ever planned? I never planned to get married and then go through a Nasty Divorce. I didn’t plan on being a single mom as a teenager and then becoming a single mom again in my 30’s. We can try our best to plan our life but life has a funny way of saying FUCK your plans! I am trying to listen to the universe here. Call that God, Energy or Chocolate for all I care, I am just trying to listen. The universe told me not to freaking drive here. That would have been a disaster. The universe told me to sign that freaking lease that was all in Spanish that I didn’t have any clue what I said so I signed that thing! Now, I am here collaborating with other moms on a program to help other single moms move abroad and live location independent lives. This is all within 3 weeks of stepping foot in Mexico, a country I have fallen deeply and madly in love with even if at times it makes me want to scream!
What Is This Love Thing You Talk About?
Love. It’s Valentine’s day here as I am writing this. We are actually pretty darn tight on money. The tightest it has been in years which is not a good feeling but I have decided to drag my self out of bed today and go spoil these girls a little. It’s not that I care about this fake holiday really but today is also the anniversary of our first big adventure to Port Aransas. Last year, I decided instead of sulking on this lovey-dovey day, we were going on an adventure and it changed our lives.
Searching For A Rental Home
Week 1 in Mexico was challenging. I was constantly pushing against my fears and so were the girls. Noone here speaks English so there is a whole bunch of hand motions and Google translate going on. I found a realtor to help us find our home and boy was that in itself a freaking adventure. He didn’t speak a lick of English. I don’t speak a lick of Spanish and how they do house rental shopping here is very interesting. My Airbnb host hooked me up with him. He picked us up and we headed to see the first place. I want to point out that we have not had a discussion about what I was looking for, price- range, bedrooms, style, anything. He randomly stops on the way at some point and starts talking to another vehicle. Okay. Then we drive again and pull up to this apartment building where that other vehicle pulls up to as well. It was a shiny new big Gringo style apartment and I absolutely hated it! The middle child, on the other hand, loved it.
“Mom we get our own rooms!”
I had to crush her little spirit by telling the realtor that I was not looking for this type of place. Mind you. This is all done through Google translate so it is a whole bunch of typing and a very slow process. Now the middle child is sulking but I refuse to come to Mexico and live like an American, Period.
We leave there, get taken to another place and it is big, ugly, terrible and freaking expensive. At this point, I am feeling defeated and a little cheated. I don’t want to pay gringo prices and I am starting to rethink all of this. I tell them again that I am looking for a Mexican style house close to the center. I DO NOT WANT AN AMERICAN HOUSE.
The realtor says he understands and he has a beautiful Mexican house for us to see. We can see it the next day. I really had no confidence in what he was saying but I agreed to meet with him the next day and go see it.
Next day rolls around and we are headed to the place he promised. I got worried right away because we were driving further out than I wanted. With no vehicle, it was important for me to be near El Centro. I shit you not. We pull into this huge gated community. It is stunning and I am sweating because I know it is way out of the budget. The girls’ eyes light up immediately. We pull up to the house, small fortress, or whatever you want to call it and there are 3 other people there. I am assuming they are all realtors. Who knows but one interesting lady speaks English. I step into this beautiful house, my heart races but I don’t get excited. The girls, on the other hand, are running around saying how much they love it. They already picked out their rooms. It is ridiculous. I am waiting for the price. Finally, they say it’s 13,000 pesos. I quickly convert it on my phone and realize it is only $740 US dollars. Yes! I don’t show my excitement.
Instead, I say I am interested but I would like to work on lowering that price. The realtors face lights up and my girls start the pouting again. They have no faith in me at this point because we have been going back and forth about getting a place for the past six months. Commitments issues anyone? What can I say? We leave that house and think we are going home but instead, we stop at yet another house. It is the craziest house I had ever seen. You have to literally jump into the house or you will fall to your death into a giant hole. You walk right into a bedroom with six beds and then you are met by a spiral stair case to a second floor with the kitchen and no walls. Meaning you could literally fall down to the next floor. I look at the realtor and type in that the toddler would most definitely die if we lived there. Plus, we already found our dream home. The owner of the death trap and the realtor both nod their heads in agreement and off we go to get dropped off to meet up with friends and share our excitement.
Time To Negotiate
Later that evening, I write the realtor and tell him I really want the dream home and I will offer 12,000 pesos(about $640) a month for it. He writes back and say he will talk to the owner and make that happen. I am all types of excited, scared, and relieved.
This is also the evening that we are hit by the plague and had me second guessing our choice of Mexico. My daughters had never been this sick, even the toddler got sick for the very first time and it was so tough but luckily the community of moms here kept us all alive.
By the end of the week, we are fully recovered from the plague, my realtor Gerardo was at my Airbnb rental going over contract details, taking a picture of my passport and visa. The day after that I was back at my dream home, this time actually taking it all in- each and every detail and signing an official freaking lease. We couldn’t move in for a few more days but Yay! Did I mention that the place was completely unfurnished. No stove, refrigerator, or even light bulbs? A true minimalist home!